Every business is trying to connect with audiences in more ways than ever before. Across a range of social platforms, as competition increases and our attention spans decrease (down to 8 seconds according to some). Every day users scroll through a whopping 300 feet of content (yes, someone measured it) giving your brand a very small window of opportunity in which to grab someone’s attention. How can you start social media marketing brand ideas that work with the speed of the feed?

Here are five key trends, Castle believe will have the biggest impact on your social media marketing strategy.


Chatbots enable faster customer service, smart enough to provide an instant connection they can provide answers for everything from solving customer issues to ordering a takeaway. And many more brands are testing chatbots than ever before. Chatbots provide businesses with the ability to interact responsively with their audience in a way that feels personal. As chatbots become smarter you can customise your brand message and send personalised messages directly to your customer base.

A fifth of business content could be chatbot-generated by 2019. And they can’t do it on their own. However, providing stories that are genuine and relatable, as per other blogs still apply. Though the advertising and social media marketing potential are definitely worth looking into. Whereas Facebook, for example, has stated that they now see 100,000 active bots per month on Messenger, offering another new platform for marketers to exploit.

The quickest adaptors to chatbots are millennials, with almost 60% having already used chatbots, with 71% saying they would try a chatbot experience from a major brand. Advice on creating and using chatbots:

  • Make a character
  • Write copy first, not code
  • Avoid making it complicated
  • Give users a reason to adopt it, don’t expect people to use it just because it’s new

Ephemeral Content

Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are leaders in ephemeral content. Most ephemeral content is available for up to 24 hours and then disappears. As well as creating content for their social channels brands are now developing a separate strategy for ephemeral content marketing.
Ephemeral content provides authenticity, more brands are using their Instagram profiles for their best, high-quality copy and stories for more real-time content. Because of the nature of ephemeral content stories, they are lost within hours forcing your followers to take action quickly. But, having high-quality content is a must!

  • Develop an ephemeral content plan
  • Be authentic and offer real-time content to engage audiences in the quickest timeframe.
  • Create a strategy around your story, invest time and thought.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality is one of the newest types of strategies that marketers use so there is still plenty of traction in becoming an early adopter. AR can be used to combine elements of print and online advertising, it is seen as a brilliant way of delivering persuasive messages to a technology-minded audience.

One of the advantages of augmented reality marketing is personalisation; a consumer can upload their own content to create a personalised form of media that is marketed only at them. The use of augmented reality especially with regards to mobile devices provides an engaging and niche method for marketers to reach their target audience; quickly, easily and very interactively.

When Apple launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone X it provided users with augmented reality experiences. And if Apple is doing it…it seems reasonable to assume that more brands will introduce ways of integrating AR into their platforms. As a result, Snapchat has already rolled out new AR features which allow users access to their Bitmoji tools with the ability to project themselves into the real world through the app, while IKEA rolled out their ‘Place’ app which allowed customers to preview furniture in their home, an amazing way to increase conversions.

  • Don’t use AR for AR’s sake.
  • Add value for the user and be shareable.
  • Consider how your strategy fits in with these new features.
  • Influencer social media marketing

Influencer social media marketing

We know that Influencer marketing is not new anymore. As a result, vast numbers of marketers trying to tap into the influencer market means greater challenges for agencies and brands.

The popularity of influencer marketing has made it hard to choose who to trust. Customers want genuineness from influencers, and companies who look to work with real influencers and industry experts will get a higher engagement rate. Consumers have become inured in seeing brands use an influencer with over 10,000 Instagram followers promoting the benefits of whey protein shakes or tooth whitening, forcing brands to become more thoughtful about who they want to work or be associated with. This means that building meaningful relationships with influencers will be key in 2019 as the future use of influencer marketing will see businesses turning to real experts.

  • Set clear objectives on why you want to work with influencers
  • Consider if they will help deliver the best ROI
  • Know who it is your audience regard as influential
  • Build solid relationships with them.


Where I have mentioned in earlier blogs about the growing use of video, especially in a mobile-first culture, video is our primary consumption. And back in 2017, 90% of all content shared by users on social media was through video. Where now the biggest challenge is for social media marketing to capture an audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds.

Organisations who are not using video as a slice of their strategy on social media need to start. At Social Media Week London, Facebook’s Kat Hahn (their Creative Strategist no less) said, “Not doing short video is not an option”. Video is the fastest-growing advertising format in the world and has been doubling year on year. Likewise, 2020 video will make up 80% of all online consumer traffic and will eventually be the closest you may get to a face to face conversation with your customers. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are all investing in video to generate greater engagement and build followers.

  • And before you leap into video use, you need a strategy. And to plan what you’re doing.
  • Objectives are clear and AR doesn’t just use video for the sake of it.
  • Content is high quality and engaging,
  • Research exactly what your target audience is looking for and test content to see what works best.
  • Follow the golden rule of, ‘design for sound off, delight with sound on’